Nats tour future stadium
For me, there's no better way to start the day than to look at the front page of the Washington Post and see a photo of the progress being made at the the stadium construction site. Ryan Zimmerman, Nook Logan, and Mike O'Connor took a tour of the site on Thursday, wrapping up an eight-day goodwill "caravan" of the D.C. metropolitan area and points south. A day or two earlier, Zimmerman and his teammates paid a visit to Virginia Beach, his home town. Regarding the team's daunting prospects in the post-Alfonso Soriano era, Zimmerman brushed aside the gloom-and-doomers and insisted, "But we can win without him." See Washington Post. Good luck! (Seriously.)
Sosa: back to minors
Sammy Sosa signed a minor league contract with the Texas Rangers, hoping for a chance to lift his lifetime home run total from 588 to the symbolic 600 mark. The deal includes complicated incentive provisions; well, a job's a job. He could have played for the Nationals last year, you may recall. Sammy says he feels "born again," and at age 38 there's no reason why he couldn't play a few more years, as long as he keeps his body clean. See MLB.com. "Pharmaceutically adjusted," I'd say his current total is more like 470. He became noticeably bulkier after the famous 1998 season, at which point his lifetime total was 273.
The mail bag
There is a news aggregator of sorts that chronicles milestones in the construction of the New Yankee Stadium at PlanNYC.org. The latest news is that New York City's share of the cost of the new Yankee Stadium "has increased to $209 million from $160 million, and to $172 million from $92 million for the new Mets Stadium." Surprise, surprise! (Hat tip to Bruce Orser.)
The Minnesota Twins are enjoying a big increase in season ticket sales, because of fan enthusiasm over the team's winning record in recent years, and because corporations want to lock in priority when prime seats for the Twins' future stadium go on sale, presumably in 2010. See twincities.bizjournals.com. (Hat tip to Mike Zurawski.)
In the off season, most baseball fans have other things on their minds, but I noticed that a couple guys took the time to register for this Web site and add their impressions of old ballparks: Lou Norbeck for Griffith Stadium, and Drew Fullam for Shibe Park. Thanks, guys!